Warm greetings to all of you as we offer an update of where the Hoshyar Foundation finds itself at the end of fifteen years in operation. We are delighted to still be “in business” and making a difference in rural communities in northern and suburban Pakistan. Despite the ongoing disruptions because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority of our students continue to excel in school, demonstrating that they had only been waiting for the chance. These young girls (above) will be ready to join Hoshyar’s middle school at Chota Bala in a couple of years.
I would like to offer special recognition to the dedicated teachers and staff at every one of our fifteen sponsored schools. Throughout this difficult time, they have worked extraordinarily hard to keep students on track and engaged with their learning. They continue to prepare weekly lesson plans, adjusting to the new conditions. When school is closed due to government mandate, the students come for in-person meetings with their teachers once a week and drop off their completed homework. They go over it in small groups with their teachers and leave with the next week’s work in hand. The teachers are now giving much more personalized attention to each student while continuing to meet regularly with mothers to listen and to share concerns about their daughters. This has been a major contributor to the impressive success in examination results this year: every single student passed, and a remarkable number did so with flying colors! It could not have happened without these dedicated teachers. We look forward to the day when we have distance learning alternatives in place, thus lightening everyone’s load considerably.
There are now 68 students enrolled at the new middle school in Bakki, and many students have expressed their pleasure at being back, some after several years of being confined to home and domestic work. It is important for us to bear in mind that the experience of being in school extends beyond just attending class: girls walk to school and back home with one another, they socialize and enjoy recreational activites as well. Life without school doesn’t allow for this.
It has now been two full years since I visited Pakistan. We are very fortunate to be in regular, engaged contact with our partners in Mansehra and the Lahore area, but it will be a happy day when I can return and visit the new schools and students in person.
There are always new communities approaching us for help in establishing new schools, but we are terribly constrained by the flow of resources. Thank you so much, those of you who give regularly. Without you we can do nothing. With your participation we can continue to open up new possibilities for young girls whose lives would be limited otherwise to domestic work and a largely involuntary cycle of reproduction.
We offer several financial tips to keep in mind. Under the extension of the CARES Act through the end of 2021, charitable contributions are tax-deductible up to 100% of Annual Gross Income for those itemizing deductions. As ever, tax-free gifts may be transferred directly from an IRA to the Hoshyar Foundation to meet the Required Minimum Distribution. For further information, please consult your financial advisor or tax accountant.
We ask that you consider Hoshyar when developing or revising your estate plan. Bequests to the Hoshyar Foundation will ensure that our work continues into the future. You may also wish to designate Hoshyar as a beneficiary of part or all of your IRA or other retirement accounts.
Do please keep these girls in your hearts during the Giving Season ahead of us. We know that every dollar invested in female education in effect multiplies, increasing human fulfillment and bringing half the globe’s population into a larger world.
With many thanks and good wishes to you all,
Prof. Carla Petievich